Ecological forecasting under climate change: the case of Baltic cod

Martin Lindegren, Christian Möllmann, Anders Nielsen, Keith Brander, Brian MacKenzie, Niels Chr. Stenseth

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Good decision making for fisheries and marine ecosystems requires a capacity to anticipate the consequences of management under different scenarios of climate change. The necessary ecological forecasting calls for ecosystem-based models capable of integrating multiple drivers across trophic levels and properly including uncertainty. The methodology presented here assesses the combined impacts of climate and fishing on marine food-web dynamics and provides estimates of the confidence envelope of the forecasts. It is applied to cod (Gadus morhua) in the Baltic Sea, which is vulnerable to climate-related decline in salinity owing to both direct and indirect effects (i.e. through species interactions) on early-life survival. A stochastic food web-model driven by regional climate scenarios is used to produce quantitative forecasts of cod dynamics in the twenty-first century. The forecasts show how exploitation would have to be adjusted in order to achieve sustainable management under different climate scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRoyal Society of London. Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Issue number1691
Pages (from-to)2121-2130
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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